Audi Q7 becomes most powerful passenger diesel ever built

If 2006 has been the year of the diesel-powered vehicle, then Audi’s awesome Q7 V12 TDI is its king, queen and bastard heir.

The most powerful passenger diesel car ever built for mass production, the Q7 is effectively a road-going version of the Le Mans-victorious R10. It’s twin-turbo 6-litre V12 pumps out more than 500bhp, 1000Nm of torque and can warp it from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds. Surprisingly, the TDI will still wring out economy figures of 23.7mpg on the combined cycle.

Currently undergoing pre-production testing, the Q7 V12 TDI also has the latest injection technology, a specially developed exhaust gas recirculation system and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), all of which means it already meets 2010 European emissions targets.

On the tin, the Q7 V12 TDI has whopping presence with a striking new front end design featuring a unique chrome-plated grille and LED strip daytime running lights, additional under-body protection panelling and large-bore exhausts. Did anyone say "phat"?

The monster is likely to make it into production some time next year. Expect it to be rather pricey, just in case you're in the market for a light-sepped living room.